Endoscopic retrograde catheterization

What is catheterization?

Endoscopic retrograde catheterization (ERC) of the bile ducts is a diagnostic and therapeutic examination. A flexible tube, endowed with a camera and a light at its end, is introduced by the mouth and makes it possible to see the contents of the bile ducts. It can also be equipped with forceps to take samples, put nasal drains or place biliary prostheses ...

In which cases is a CRE practiced?

CRE is used when ultrasound imaging is insufficient and direct exploration of the bile ducts is required. This is the case when we suspect lesions of these pathways, be they stones, cancer or pancreatitis.

What to do before the exam?

The patient must be fasting.

How does this exam take place?

This examination requires perfect immobility, which is why it is often performed under general anesthesia. The fiberscope, introduced through the mouth, can visualize the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. It can then reveal stones or strictures of the common bile duct, cancer of the bile ducts or pancreas, biliary cysts, parasitosis ... After the examination, the patient having undergone anesthesia of the larynx must not eat for two to three hours.

Does this review involve risks?

The two main complications following this examination are acute pancreatitis and septic complications.